Congressman explains Ranger School records request

A congressman has expanded on why he asked for the records of the two women who recently made history by graduating from the Army’s elite Ranger School.

“No one wanted to touch this issue,” Rep. Steve RussellSteven (Steve) Dane RussellThe 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority 5 themes to watch for in 2020 fight for House Oklahoma New Members 2019 MORE (R-Okla.) said in a Facebook post.

Last week, Russell sent a letter to Army Secretary John McHugh asking for documents on the women’s test scores, injuries, evaluations and more, People magazine reported Tuesday.

An anonymous source told People the letter was in response to allegations Russell heard that the women received special treatment.

Russell confirmed the reason for the letter in his Facebook post.

“The records request on the recent Ranger classes that included females is to investigate serious allegations that are being made by members of the military,” he wrote.

Army officials have repeatedly denied that standards were lowered to allow the women to graduate. Most recently, in response to Russell’s letter, Army's Lt. Col. Garrett told People that the women “accomplished the very same demanding standards of Ranger School as previous classes.”

Last month, Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver became the first women to graduate from Ranger School, considered the Army’s toughest leadership training course. A third woman is still working her way through the course.

After Griest and Haver’s graduation, the Army officially opened Ranger School to all who qualified regardless of gender.

In his Facebook post, Russell said he requested the documents since he himself is a graduate of Ranger School.

“As one of only two Ranger qualified members of the House, I asked for the records to determine the nature of the allegations,” he wrote. “The investigation should show whether there was any wrong-doing or it will lay it to rest. We expect to examine the records by next week and will make a determination from there.”